Forget-Me-Not – Plants of Yesteryear

Forget-Me-Not – Plants of Yesteryear
  • Posted March 12, 2015

There is no other plant so associated with remembrance as forget-me-not. The diminutive sky blue flower, so often found carpeting the ground in the back of a half-wild shade garden, is a prime example of the human tendency to take one peculiar quality of a plant and create heartfelt meaning out of it. If you pick a pint-size bouquet of the tiny flowers and press it against your shirt, the hairs on the stems will cause it to stay put as if it was glued — the elfin plant's way of saying, I know I seem small and insignificant but please don't forget about me.

Gardeners have passed down many stories and legends about the origin of the name, often involving a tragic tale of two lovers, and the flowers are traditionally worn in some cultures as a sign of love and dedication. Forget-me-not has been used as a symbol for remembering the dead, the poor and destitute and those that have been discriminated against. Henry IV chose the flower as a personal symbol while he was in exile and to this day, politicians have been known to hand out the seeds at political events as a gimmick to retain voters.


Henry David Thoreau described the character of the flower perfectly: “It is the more beautiful for being small and unpretending; even flowers must be modest."

Brian Barth
About the Author

After 15 years as a professional landscape designer and horticulturalist, Brian Barth embarked on a second career to share his passion—and the knowledge he's accrued—through writing. His love of plants is all-encompassing, but he has a particular soft spot for culinary crops.

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Forget-Me-Not – Plants of Yesteryear